It’s October. And if you been hanging around my little corner of the blogosphere for a while you probably already know that October is very special to me. It’s the month I married my best friend. This month, we’re celebrating four years of wedded bliss. That’s not to say that life is or has been perfect, only that I’m so, so, so happy to be married to the man I married and incredibly thankful for the time I get to spend with him.
So, since it’s October and my month of romance, I thought I’d chat with you a bit about my favourite romance tropes: enemies to lovers and friends to lovers.
Enemies to Lovers
This is a trope that you either love or hate. And to be honest, when it’s not done well, I do hate it. When there seems like no real reason for them to start liking each other, when one exerts power over the other and yet the other falls in love with them, when it feels forced or stalkerish — ugh. Not good.
But, when it is done well, when the story and characters progress in a way that makes sense, that feels appropriate, I love it. Pride and Prejudice, The Hating Game, A Court of Mist and Fury, even Anne of Avonlea. These books include the characters starting to develop respect for each other, and that respect grows to like, which grows to love.
The great thing about the enemies to lovers trope, is that it usually includes the friendship step in there too. Think about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy for a moment. They didn’t hate each other one minute and then get married the next. No, they became friends. They started to enjoy spending time together. Same with Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman. They started to cooperate a bit. They watched T.V. together. Sure, there was definitely sexual tension, but there was also restraint. Same with Rhysand and Feyre. Same with Anne and Gilbert….
Friends to Lovers
Okay, maybe not so much with Anne and Gilbert. They are simply adorable. And just plain sweet.
And, they make me grin a special grin. You see, my husband and I knew each other in school too. But we were just friends (not enemies, thankfully). Then, we ended up living in the same city after college and because I’d moved to town and didn’t know many people, we started spending time together.
A lot of time.
We went for walks. We talked about books. We talked about what we wanted in our futures, in a partner, in a job, in life in general. We went out to eat. We went to movies.
But we weren’t officially dating yet. We were friends. We even carpooled together back to our hometown for Thanksgiving.
And then, after about six months…something shifted. I realized he was my best friend. This guy who I texted with every day. Who checked in at 10:30 every morning with a “Hey, how’s your day going?” text. This guy who was always willing to hang out when I was lonely. This guy who was happy to help me pick up and assemble an Ikea KALLAX shelf unit. This guy who made me laugh all the time. This guy who really listened to what I said. This guy who I wanted to talk to all the time. This guy who made me feel smart, and beautiful, and valued.
I think L.M Montgomery said it best,
“For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps. . . perhaps. . .love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath. ”
― L.M. Montgomery,
This quote makes me tear up every time I read it. Because this quote perfectly describes how I fell in love with my love. He became a beautiful friend. And that friendship unfolded into a sweet, romantic, love. I know, I know, I wrote about this quote last year too. But..I’m sorry, I can’t help it. It fills me with joy.
I need your help.
I’m desperately in search of more friends to lovers books, books about falling in love with your best friend. Please, dear friends, what are your favourite friends to lovers books? Please comment below and give me some book recommendations. I want more of these warm fuzzies that fill my belly and my chest.